Findings published in the August 2011 issue of Hepatology, revealed that obesity may be a frequent cause of chronic liver disease progression. Liver cirrhosis, according to one study, in over 15% of cases, is caused by being overweight. Other studies showed that those suffering from liver disease due to obesity had a lower survival rate than those with viral liver disease.

A study, that followed patients with liver cirrhosis for almost 6 years, found that overweight or obese patients have about a 30-40% increased risk of their chronic liver disease progressing to ascites (increased fluid in the abdomen), variceal hemorrhage( bleeding from abnormal vessels), or hepatic encephalopathy( worsening brain function due to the livers inability to remove toxins from the blood).

According to the World Health Organization, 1.5 billion people are overweight or obese. Further studies are needed to find if weight loss may improve outcomes in chronic liver disease.